The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the future

I don’t check the Amazon.com page for The Just Bento Cookbook too often, but I was taking a look yesterday and saw that it has reached 150 reviews! Most are 5-star reviews, with a few 4 and 3 star reviews (hey, you can’t please everyone). I didn’t ask people to review the book at all, so seeing that so many people have taken the time to post one is very gratifying. If you posted one on Amazon.com, or any of the other Amazons - thank you!

Also, with the exception of a few weeks here and there the book has been the no. 1 seller in the Japanese Cooking category on Amazon .com for the last 2 years, and in the top 5 of the Asian category for a lot of that time too. I don’t know what to say about that really, except…I’m amazed and honored and very proud of my baby for being such an over achiever.

The Just Bento Cookbook reached another milestone recently too: it is now in its 7th printing overall - quite an accomplishment I think a first time author’s cookbook. I am so grateful that the book has continued to sell so well, despite my extended absences from this site and Just Hungry over the past couple of years as I dealt with some health issues and so on.

I’ve been asked periodically if I’m working on another book. At the moment the answer is no. I was actually starting to gather the material together for another book proposal just after The Just Bento Cookbook came out in early 2011 — but then a whole lot of things happened: my original publisher suddenly closed shop (it’s now published by another subsidiary of the same company); the Japan earthquake on March 11, 2011 happened…and then I got sick and had to concentrate on getting better. I’m now a whole lot better physically of course - my cancer is in full remission, knock wood - and back to regular writing for my blogs as well as for The Japan Times and other places. So I’m almost ready to get back into the fray of book writing…I’m just a bit undecided, and unsure even as to how to go about it. (If you want to offer me any advice, I’m all ears!)

Anyway, I just wanted to say: if you’ve bought a copy of The Just Bento Cookbook, thank you. I hope that it’s been useful for you. ^_^

For more bento recipes, ideas and tips, subscribe to Just Bento via your newsreader or by email (more about subscriptions).

And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

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Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

You could write some sort of... coursebook for beginners to Japanese cooking. I'd buy it! :D (Similar to the Japanese 101 course, but obviously longer). Maybe starting out with very simple things and getting progressively harder, putting together skills from previous recipes to make new ones. Maybe aimed at people who don't live in Japan (with ideas for substitutes etc).

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

Hey, those lessons on basic Japanese cooking look like the basics for a great new cookbook! Could include chapters on dorm friendly techniques, single or couple friendly, kid friendly, or by subbing ingredients I can't get in my small town (a delicious and non-traditional angle). This could include info on, for example, how long frozen or dried ingredients last, as I can get to an oriental store once a year.

And don't forget the "no waste" angle...your bento freezer techniques are unique and brilliant... very 21st C. Call it something like "Japanese Cooking Anytime Everywhere".

And so glad you are feeling better! Lily

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

I found your book while visiting Japan last year (I have a weakness for bookstores) and am SO glad I bought it. It's an excellent resource, and I'm slowly working on building more bentos for my lunches :)

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

As a reader, I'd like to say a great big 'Thank You' for creating consistent and user-friendly content over the years, both in print and online. Even through your struggles you've always kept in touch with us, which makes us feel really appreciated as readers. Thank you for taking us along on the journey - we love you Maki! Keep well.

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

That's brilliant news!
I'd order a new book by you right now if I could.

I loved your Japanese 101 and think that'd be a cool intro to the book, and then oodles and oodles of recipes, some with rice and some with noodles.

thanks too for your websites - two of my favorite places on the net.

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

Congratulations, Maki, on your publishing success. You deserve all good things!

I bought the book long before I found Just Bento. The blog is a fantastic repository of in-depth information that supplements the book, and I refer to it frequently.

Keep up the good work!

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

It's number one in Japanese Cookbooks (English language) in Germany, too (a small part by yours truely) with a flat 5.0 stars
http://www.amazon.de/gp/bestsellers/books-intl-de/64157011/ref=sr_bs_1
and number three in the English language Asian cooking category.
http://www.amazon.de/gp/bestsellers/books-intl-de/64152011/ref=zg_bs_unv...

I have to admit I didn't write a review, but it was a real help as a counter to a very stressful job. Cooking a lot of your recipes, from the book and the sites, helped to distract me and keep me sane.

Many thanks for this book and your blogs. I knocked on wood for you, too.

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

Yay Deutschland! ^_^

Woot!

Thank YOU, Maki, for everything you do. I'm honored to have been among the folks to get ahold of the first printing, and I use it at all the time (I've memorized a lot of the recipes so I don't always have to reference directly, but I still peruse for inspiration at least). I adore your blog, your recipes, your writing, and your book so much, and it has revolutionized my lunch-making. Bento is even, weirdly, part of what got me into blogging!

I second (third?) the idea of a Japanese Cooking 101 book. A sort of Just Hungry cousin to the Just Bento book. The best lessons I've gotten from you have been to be unafraid of Japanese cooking and to embrace versatility.

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

I too love your book! It never even hit the bookshelf, it's always on the kitchen table ^_^ I get many jealous comments from my colleagues at lunch time when they see my bento ^_^

I would love a new book. I too would like a book about Japanese cooking, maybe more in the style of full dinner meals with bento options. Like the chicken karaage recipe: have it for dinner and keep a few pieces for a bento. I would also like to know how long things keep in fridge or freezer as I cook larger batches to freeze them. (I am dead tired in the evenings and a zombie in the mornings...)

Or it could be just separate bento-recipies instead of complete bento's: a section about vegetables, one about protein, carbs. I've written down recipies from your sites and the book in a notebook and divided them like that. I use the notebook when cooking so I won't spill any food on the book :-)

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

I did buy your cookbook, but I find I keep using your blogs for recipes instead of it, because I can search the blog easier, and it "lays flat on the counter" (yeah, I have a computer in the kitchen nook . . .), where the book does not.

I would appreciate a version of the cookbook that works well with the Kindle for cooking with. I guess the old school way would be to have a hardback, as they stay open better, but that is an expensive route these days.

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

Ditto. Kindle can be like a good and convenient index - great for cooking. And with Kindle for PC (free) plus using printscreen, people who don't own Kindles could still use that format.

A lot of the other suggestions are great, and I would happily buy a sequel with more vegetarian options, or an expanded version of the original (like with more recipe variations, cultural notes, nutritional information, substitutions and so on).

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

Anyone who reads your book can see you put a lot of care into the recipes and the format. You deserve every star!

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

A cookbook on traditional Japanese fare like on Justhungry would be amazing, as you are one of the few English-speakers that I feel I can trust to get it right. Most books I see like that are too Americanized (like never mentioning mirin-I get adding in the sugar option, but to not mention it at all.... really?!?). Regardless of what you decide to write, I'm sure it will be amazing!

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

It's been useful, and thank you for writing it!
I think you did a great job, not just writing *A* book, but writing a book that is useful and a joy to have, even after following your blog and knowing how to package a bento ^_^

(I'm also happy to say I have the FIRST addition!!! ^_^)

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

I have the Just Bento Cookbook - I love it!

For the second book, like others have said, a book that teaches Japanese cooking for non-Japanese living in places where it is hard or impossible to get fresh Japanese produce and specialty food & cookware items with special cooking techniques that are uniquely Japanese, holiday foods, customs and beliefs regarding food (like in Ireland giving breastfeeding women Guinness beer to help produce more milk) etc., would be great!

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

A JUST HUNGRY cookbook perhaps? I am really enjoying going through the JUST HUNGRY lessons. I make a mean dashi stock now, and my rice actually seems like Japanese rice!

:)

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

I just received my copy of The Just Bento Cookbook on Friday and am already so excited for it- even made four of the recipes within twenty-four hours.

I cannot wait to try each and every item.
You sound so humble here but I hope you know how appreciated your efforts have been- and if you ever write another book I will be buying it. :)

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

I've had the cookbook for some time, and love the recipes. I'd love to see more of the same kind of thing, but maybe laid out as mains, sides, garnishes- that sort of thing. My favorite recipe from the book is chicken kara age, I make it at least every other week. What I have trouble with is finding sides to fill my box. I'm watching what I eat, so rice isn't often a good option; I'd love to see salad, vegetable and pickle "filler" recipes to complete my boxes.

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

The book is on my "to buy after I move" list. If it were in Kindle/epub format, then I'd be able to get one now and not have to worry where it lives on my shelf.

I agree with others that you should write the cooking series book. (and also publish it through Kindle/epub)

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

How about collecting the recipes from Just Hungry and the new ones from Just Bento, that have proven to be the quite popular? I know there are several recipes on that site that I refer to time and again, and have finally just written them out into a notebook.

Also a chapter on ingredients that you have covered here and in the Japan Times would be nice as well. My daughter in law is issei and its nice to make her feel at home when she comes for supper, your sites are an invaluable resource for this.

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

I adore the cookbook to bits and use it as my go-to for quick recipes. In fact, I think almost every bento I've made my freshman year of college has had one of your recipes in it!
I think you should write another cookbook, bento or otherwise! I would buy it immediately.

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

I too would love a Japanese 101 and continuation in book form, maybe including popular past recipes from the sites as well. I've never commented before, nor did I post my bento photos for the Bento 101 course, which along with your book successfully started me on a regular bento habit. Thanks for all your work. You've really opened up a whole new delicious world of cooking for me.

Re: The Just Bento Cookbook: Milestones and pondering the ...

Any chance you could bring it out as an ebook?

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